Coach for Cinderella, A
Seven of the one hundred and eighteen films in Jam Handy's Direct Mass Selling series (see notes for Down the Gasoline Trail) were Technicolor cartoons resembling the studio animation of the period. We do not yet know who the animators were, but it is clear they were drawn from the best of the Hollywood cartoon cadre. A Coach for Cinderella, the first industrial film produced in Technicolor, was the best of Jam Handy's animations and has been a favorite of animation collectors and historians for years. Pictorially and musically, the film resembles European advertising films (especially the early work of George Pal for the Dutch electrical
conglomerate Philips)-one of several indications that exiled European animators may have relocated to Handy's Detroit studios. (Another clue is the stop-motion animation in such films as Auto-Lite on Parade and Precisely So, which is similar to Oskar Fischinger's work of the early thirties.)
Cinderella set a standard for quality to which other American advertising animation would aspire. Indeed, it is rumored that the scene in which birds wrap Cinderella's gown around the wooden dummy was appropriated by Walt Disney for his own Cinderella. Jam Handy films were always exceptional at showing how things work. The achievement here was to break down the parts and features of a Chevrolet automobile into units that could be understood in terms of plant and animal life: caterpillars roll into circles and become automobile tires; in the "visible V-6" fireflies equal spark plugs and mice provide motive power. The other Technicolor cartoons that Jam Handy produced for Chevrolet (most of them have not been seen in over fifty years) were A Ride for Cinderella, One Bad Knight, Peg-Leg Pedro, Nicky Nome Rides Again, The Princess and the Pauper, and Jumping Beans. Hints in the trade papers suggest that the
animation was supervised by Frank Goldman.
Ken Smith notes: This is one of the cartoons produced by Jam Handy for Chevrolet as theatrical shorts -- probably the most beautiful industrial cartoons ever made. The story lines in these shorts are mostly reworkings of children's fairy tales, but they're are so artfully executed that you won't mind. In this cartoon, Cinderella looks like a stylish late '30s flapper and her "finest coach in the land" looks like a Chevrolet. A Coach For Cinderella was the first Technicolor sponsored film. Inspired, in part, by George Pal's advertising films for Philips Petroleum.
cartoons animation animated
Subject: Fun and unusual
Subject: Quality Propaganda!
Subject: Cinderella Not Only Gets the Handsome Prince--She Gets...A NEW CAR!!
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: ****. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ****.
Subject: We're gonna pimp your ride.
Subject: Predates Disney
Subject: Not enough auto technology show-offs.
Yet I do think the modern elements of the car were not given adequate attention. When this was being downloaded, I really expected a real petrol engine, gears, etc. A "modernizer" is just not enough to show how good your engine is.
Subject: An sly cartoon..
Subject: A Coach made from natural parts
It is also interesting to note how similar ideas and gags would be use later on in Disney's take on the Cinderella story.